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Bale Breaker Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Bale Breaker Brewing CompanyBale Breaker Brewing Company
BA SCORE
4/5
Exceptional
942 Ratings
Bale Breaker Brewing CompanyBale Breaker Brewing Company
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Beer-to-go

1801 Birchfield Road
Yakima, Washington, 98901-9577
United States

(509) 424-4000 | map
balebreaker.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by beertunes on 04-18-2013

BEER STATS
Beers:
25
Reviews:
199
Ratings:
942
PLACE STATS
BA Score:
4.35/5
Reviews:
7
Ratings:
24
pDev:
11.49%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 7
Photo of Sabtos
2.95/5  rDev -32.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3

Driving on a route that has hop fields on both sides of you, you pull into a lot that is literally smack dab in the middle of hanging hop bines. The first impression is pretty universal and uncomplicated: you feel like you are somewhere special.

This facility seems brand new and surprisingly large for being so young, and especially so remote. If not for the hop fields, the region almost feels like a desert landscape.

The interior bar area is actually small, and is a mix of a sports bar and a very clean, industrial, almost hardware-like store, but the exterior is where it's at. A food truck will pull up to the side, allowing you to order from a limited menu--this day Guerra's was there and they had some rather unique sandwich offerings featuring a tasty sourdough bread with unique grains I was not familiar with. There are picnic tables under an awning, as well as plenty of yard space for the kids to play around in. Even though the hop harvest was mostly complete by now, they seem to have left a wall of hop bines up nearest to the beer garden for those that enjoy a little photo op with a fresh glass of brew.

Beers here are nice, crisp and clean, and obviously quite fresh, particularly on the hop front. However, the variations between them aren't very drastic, and they all lean closer to the classic West Coast IPA, versus the newer trends. The selection is relatively small, but there were a lot of other beers not on draft available to go in cans.

While this is a very nice place to visit, especially out on the patio, I have to admit that what stuck with me is mostly negative. They are very serious about the 5PM closing time on Sunday, cutting people off at 4:30PM and running around screaming "Last Call!" vociferously, while folks are just trying to chill on a nice, sunny day, playing corn hole and sitting at the picnic tables, or patronizing Guerra's wonderful wood fired clay oven. I suppose I had an indication this would be the case when I went up to order my first beer at 4PM and was ignored in favor of a personal conversation, then asked what I wanted as if I was already not welcome. Maybe it was just an issue with those particular individuals, as there was one other person working that was a lot more engaged and amenable, but was busy completing other tasks.

 2,302 characters

Photo of roan22
4.7/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I've visited Seattle 3 times and consistently Bale Breaker beer impresses me. Decided to visit Yakima. The vibe here is very desert country, if that makes sense. Chilled out people very diverse. Kids entertained by hula hoops. Hops growing everywhere. Beautiful weather. Country music. Delicious beer. My faves were Leota Mae, Sessiones de Migrante Mango IPA, and Dormancy. Missed the Citra Slicker by a week, damn. I bought a winter hat, thanks for making one!

 472 characters

Photo of South2NW
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Photo of nickfl
3.86/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

This is a big, impressive facility on the outskirts of the town (apparently they just went through a major expansion). The taproom itself is smallish, but pleasant with a great outside seating area next to their hop field. The service was good and the beer quality was good, but predictable (well made, but unsurprising hoppy beers), with basically nothing outside of the IPA zone. About 8 beers on tap as I recall, and all IPAs or variants of hoppy as previously mentioned. The lack of variety would be a bit trite anywhere else, but in the heart of hop country it is forgivable. Definitely worth checking out, don't expect the beer to change your life, but you won't leave complaining either.

 699 characters

Photo of Erik-P
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4

Photo of LouZ
4.9/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of John_M
3.76/5  rDev -13.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25

Had a chance to stop by for the first time the other day, during a trip down to Walla Walla.

Located a bit southeast of town (right off of Hiway 24), out by some hop fields, BB actually looks like a pretty sizeable place from the outside. However, the building you see contains the brewery and business offices as well, and the actual taproom itself (located on the left side of the building), is a modest size affair. There's a smallish bar area straight back and to the right (from the front door) that holds around 7 or 8 seats (where me and the fiancé perched), and then there's an informal dining area to the left, with a smattering of tables and chairs, that probably can hold another 30 or 40 folks. Its a comfortable, low key place to hang out and have a beer or three.

On this particular day, there were 6 beers on tap (hence my selection score), and then you could get cans of top cutter and field 41 to go. You can order beer by the imperial pint ($5 on everything the day we were here), and then you could also buy regular size pints and by the glass (10 ounces I think, but I'm not positive on that). I went with the sample tray ($7 for 4 beers I believe), and just ordered beers I hadn't had before (and so I didn't order the top cutter or field 41). Much to my surprise, the standouts on the tray included an excellent hoppy pils and easily the best dry hopped golden ale I have ever tried (the raging ditch). The imperial stout was pretty tasty as well, and then there was the bottom cutter. I was expecting this to be the star of my tray, but it turned out to be an overly sweet, boozy, hot on the finish DIPA that did nothing for me. Oh well... can't win em all.

As for service, it was fine for what it was. Our bartender was quick with a drink, but not very talkative otherwise. Not that we needed to be entertained. Everyone was friendly enough otherwise. BB doesn't have a kitchen, but I think they have a few snacks, and then there's a different food truck on site every night (the truck schedule is available at the bar).

Couple of thoughts. After having had most of the BB line-up now, it really seems as if the brewer has a knack for making outstanding, relatively low alcohol beers. I can't over emphasize how good the raging ditch and pils were, and I've always been a huge fan of the field 41. Top cutter was not all that impressive to me, and I didn't care at all for bottom cutter (and frankly, I'm puzzled by all the high review scores on BA). In any event, we had a good time at the brewery, and I would love it if I had regular access to the pils and raging ditch.

 2,622 characters

Photo of snaotheus
5/5  rDev +14.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Visited yesterday in the early afternoon.

Awesome place with awesome surroundings. Literally surrounded by hops (or, at least they were before the recent harvest). Beers are excellent. Service was good and orderly -- even when it was very crowded. Friendly staff.

 264 characters

Photo of BeerNW
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Sixpoint
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of BlueSpader
3.96/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Photo of Anaxagoris
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

Photo of Hopmodium
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Limited beers that are just amazing. Never thought 4 handles would be enough. Great location.

95 characters

Photo of SeattleBoB76
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of TheBungyo
5/5  rDev +14.9%

I've yet to visit an ancient German brewery, Belgian Abbey, or English Pub/Brewery full of casks. Those must certainly be among the most sought after experiences for beer lovers around the world.

Closer to home, sipping superbly crafted ales right in the middle of the largest hop growing region in the world has to be up there as well. Bale Breaker is owned by a family of hop growers and they've brought their family vibe with them to their brewery.

During my visit over the course of two and a half days the place was bumping like Miami bass CD from the 90's. There were only two servers but they managed to be ridiculously efficient, while still being personable. So much so that one server in particular took time to chat with my girlfriend and me to recommend other places in the area and talk beer as well.

And speaking of beer, the brews here are among the best hoppy varieties I've had the pleasure of trying. Being able to try them beyond fresh, at the source, was priceless. My trip was at the start of the harvest season, so every few minutes trucks loaded down with freshly cut hops rumbled by on the road outside. I'd imagine this atmosphere is unbeatable in the American beer scene. And as if that wasn't enough, just stepping out the door (in the right season of course) puts you within only a few dozen feet of row upon row of hops!

The only drawback I can think of is that there isn't a hotel right next door!

 1,433 characters

Photo of schad
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of Fly4awhiteguy
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of whitenads
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of fuhkyou
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Stopped by here on the way home from Portland in Sept/14. The beer is good but I don't know what all the hype is about.

120 characters

Photo of strongaf
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Andrew24
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Aleforme
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of beertunes
3.83/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

I visited during a recent trip to Yakima for the Fresh Hop beerfest. Bale Breaker is located in the middle of a hop field, which had been harvested by the time of my visit, but must be spectacular when in full bloom.

The brewery features only a "tasting room", which is modern and comfortable. There are a couple TVs that were showing sports. It was very busy at the time of my visit, but the 2 person staff did a great job of keeping up with bar customers, and people picking up 6-packs and cases of their tasty canned beers.

They featured 4 of their own beers, and 5-6 gust taps. A local pizza joint was selling slices when I visited, and the staff said they have food trucks at various times. I really enjoyed my visit, and will certainly stop in any time I find myself in the Yakima area. And, only being 30-45 minutes from Ellensburg, it would be worth a detour off I-90 for a true beer geek. A must visit.

 913 characters

Bale Breaker Brewing Company in Yakima, WA
Brewery rating: 4 out of 5 with 942 ratings
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